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Huntington's disease: Objective assessment of posture—A link between motor and functional deficits

Authors

  • Ralf Reilmann MD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Neurology, UKM, University of Muenster, Albert-Schweitzer-Campus 1, Muenster, Germany
    • Dept. of Neurology, EHDN Huntington Center Münster, University Clinic Muenster (UKM), University of Muenster, Albert Schweitzer Campus 1—Building A1, 48129 Muenster, Germany

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    • Ralf Reilmann and Silke Rumpf contributed equally to this study

  • Silke Rumpf MS,

    1. Department of Neurology, UKM, University of Muenster, Albert-Schweitzer-Campus 1, Muenster, Germany
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    • Ralf Reilmann and Silke Rumpf contributed equally to this study

  • Heike Beckmann MD,

    1. Department of Neurology, UKM, University of Muenster, Albert-Schweitzer-Campus 1, Muenster, Germany
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  • Raphael Koch PhD,

    1. Institute of Biostatistics and Clinical Research, University of Muenster, Albert-Schweitzer-Campus 1, Muenster, Germany
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  • Erich B. Ringelstein MD,

    1. Department of Neurology, UKM, University of Muenster, Albert-Schweitzer-Campus 1, Muenster, Germany
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  • Herwig W. Lange MD

    1. Department of Neurology, UKM, University of Muenster, Albert-Schweitzer-Campus 1, Muenster, Germany
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  • Relevant conflicts of interest/financial disclosures: Ralf Reilmann was supported by the Innovative Medical Research Fund (IMF), Faculty of Medicine, University of Münster, Germany (grant RE-120225); the Cure Huntington's Disease Initiative–Foundation (CHDI), New York, New York; and the European Huntington's Disease Network (EHDN; www.euro-hd.net).

  • Full financial disclosures and author roles may be found in the online version of this article.

Abstract

Background:

Postural deficits in Huntington's disease are linked to functional impairment. We investigated whether assessment of center-of-mass variability using posturography provides objective and quantitative measures that correlate to the severity of motor phenotype, functional measures, and genotype as assessed by a disease burden score (based on repeat length and age). In addition, we investigated whether withdrawing visual feedback facilitates the detection of postural deficits.

Methods:

Using a force plate, the ability of symptomatic Huntington's disease patients (n = 34) and controls (n = 20) to stand as stably as possible was assessed in eyes-open and eyes-closed conditions.

Results:

All posturographic measures (DISTANCE, VELOCITY, and SURFACE of centre-of-mass mobility) were increased in patients and correlated to (1) the UHDRS Total Motor Score, (2) the UHDRS Total Functional Capacity, (3) the UHDRS Functional Assessment Score, and (4) the disease burden score. Correlations to motor and functional measures were stronger when visual feedback was provided.

Conclusions:

Posturography may provide useful objective and quantitative measures of postural motor dysfunction in Huntington's disease. © 2012 Movement Disorder Society

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